A Prairie Home Companion (2006) Script

Market reports today... barrows and gilts at 220 to 260 pounds are lower at $40.

Sows are steady. 300 to 500 pounds, $34 to $37.

Goin' over to the feeder cattle, beef steers, $120 to $150...

The way I like to do it... is I take one can of cream of mushroom soup... and then one package of egg noodles.

I like the egg noodles better than the Italian ones.

I like to put...

If we look at what the Lord said in the book of Revelation... you can be sure that there's a price to pay... for the way of the flesh and that price will be paid if you don't...

Here's the wind-up and the pitch.

And it's two and two, two and two...

Before you just say, 'Honey, I think we have to have...

'some couple's counseling. I mean, I think we have a problem.

'I can't leave a cup here for...'

All right. It's time for traffic on the fives... and let's find out what's going on with your drive.

Let's go to Chopper. Chopper, what's happening?

All right, Lettie. We got a fifteen-minute, uh, wait... 494.

There's an accident working at the spaghetti junction. at 630, but it still will make a very slow go...

A quiet night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets.

But one man is still looking for the answers to life's persistent questions.

That's me.

Or it used to be.

It was a rainy Saturday night in St. Paul... and I had just finished off a grilled cheese sandwich... with beans for a chaser... and it was time to head for work across the street.

I'm a private eye.

Noir's the name.

Guy Noir.

But I'd taken temporary employment about six years before... doing security for a radio show called A Prairie Home Companion... on account of a serious cash-flow problem... due to a lack of missing heiresses and dead tycoons lying in the solarium... with lipstick stains on their smoking jackets.

In other words, I was broke.

This radio show was done out of an old theater called the Fitzgerald... and it had been on the air since Jesus was in the third grade.

But it was still pulling in a few hundred people on Saturday nights.

It was a live radio variety show, the kind that died fifty years ago... but somebody forgot to tell them until this night.

A big corporation down in Texas had bought up the radio station... and their axeman, a guy named Cruett... was on his way to St. Paul to shut the thing down... and turn the theater into a parking lot.

It was curtains and everybody knew it, but nobody said so.

They were Midwesterners.

They felt like if you ignored bad news, it might go away.

Not my philosophy, but I'm not from here.

Stay on the edge of the crowd.

Keep your eyes open.

That's my motto.

It was my last night of gainful employment... and I had a feeling it was maybe going to be interesting.

♪ I used to work in Chicago ♪

♪ At a convenience store ♪

♪ I used to work in Chicago ♪

♪ I did, but I don't anymore ♪ Ladies and gentlemen, we are now at ten minutes from broadcast, please.

Ten minutes.

♪ A lady walked in with some porcelain skin ♪

♪ And I asked her what she came in for ♪

♪ 'Liquor,' she said, and lick her I did ♪

♪ And I don't work there anymore ♪ Molly.

What... OK, OK.

Jesus, the schedule.


Where's my pencil? I gotta show you some changes.

Where's my pencil?

I just put it down here a second ago.

Where'd you put it last?

I just had it here a second ago.

Oh, it's... it's...

Don't mess with those.

Hey, hey, hey. Please, move that back.

This one will make the...

This will make the wife green-eyed with envy.


One more.

Do you think she's coming by the studio?

Cuddle up a little bit. There you go.

Hey, Guy. How are you tonight?

I need a little help from you.

Take these Johnson Girl t-shirts. Have someone take 'em up front.

I'll take care of it. Nice tie.

Well, it's about damn time.

The very tardy Johnson Girls.

Hey, Al.

Givin' me a heart attack here.

What is this? Rewrites?

What's wrong with the old script?

How does that feel?

Give me a little sound effects on that one.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are now at six minutes to broadcast.

Six minutes from broadcast, please.

That's the... that's the...

Hey, Rich, that's that Honolulu mama... how she could dance in her pink pajamas... when she took off her Oahu Oahu Oahu.

No, it's an old Carter family song, right?

A what?

Carter family, sweetheart.

Just like us, only famous.

Now, how long you been doin' this?

Doin' what? Puttin' my pants on?

How long you been doin' radio?


I don't know. Thirty-some years, I guess.

Started out in Mark Twain Days, Mississippi River... and they hired me to play Huck Finn.

I was running a raft on the Mississippi... and carrying people across, and, uh... it ran into the wake of a steamboat.

Mr. Keillor? We need you on stage.

Fine. I'm right there.

Is this the story about the guy who ends up hangin' from a kite... bein' pulled by a boat with his shorts around his ankles?

No. No, it's a different story about a pontoon boat.

Oh! Look at this old house.

Good-bye, old house.

Good-bye, old porch.

Good-bye, old Guy.

Hey, Guy. What are they gonna do with this house, you think? Huh?

I figure it had somethin' to do... with the dumpster that showed up yesterday.

Oh, my God. Honey, listen.

I brought you that cute little dress...

I already told you, I don't like the dress.

At least try it on.

I want to see it on you.

You try it on. I don't want to try it on.

It's ugly.

It's the color of vomit.

Oh, sorry.

Old man Soderberg was one of those people who was on that raft... and, uh, he went over the rail and into the river... and I went in for him 'cause he couldn't swim.

So, I pulled him out.

You saved his life?

Well, not really. The river was shallow at that point... but he didn't know that 'cause I had hold of his ankles.

I was towing him into shore.

Hey! It's good to see ya!

Four minutes from broadcast, please.

Four minutes.

Ooh! Hey.


Wait a minute. Where's my bag?

No, no. The bag's here.

I brought it in.

Mom, just look.

Here it is. Come on, Yolanda.

I swear to God I'm all, you know, verklempt.

Ha ha ha ha!



Yeah. See? Plenty of time.

So he gave you the job at WLT.

Well, his brother did, actually.

Yeah, Art Soderberg.

G.K. to the stage, please.

Art Soderberg gave you the job.

Yeah, it was a...

It was the early morning show, right?

Rise and Shine Show. Wilmer Scott, 5 A.M..

Me and Dusty used to have an early mornin' show.

Is that right? Excuse me, partner.

Oh, yeah. Breakfast at the Bunkhouse.

TV show. And, uh, it showed mostly... cartoons and stuff. Remember that?

Oh, yeah? For the kids.

Well, this was... uh, this came on at 5:00 in the morning.

And it was... uh, like a gospel show.

Inspirational show. Inspirational show.

Wilmer Scott was the host of it.

Wasn't Wilmer Scott the famous aviator?


Yeah. First man to fly the length of the Mississippi solo.

No. I don't think so.


That was his brother Wilbur Scott.

We're now at three minutes...

Flew from New Orleans to Memphis... all the way up to Minnesota to Lake Itasca.

And when he got up there, he tried to fire a signal rocket... out the cockpit window, but it was closed.

He became the first civilian pilot to shoot himself down.

Ugh! No. That was Wilbur.

You made that story up. Right.

No, I'm talking about Wilmer Scott.

Crashed into the lake at his moment of triumph.

No. Wilmer.

Wilmer. Yeah. He was the host... No. This was the...

Right. The Rise and Shine Show.

Rise and Shine.

Mr. Keillor, Al's on the verge of a coronary up there.

Yeah. I'm there.

Now, how did he have time to fly and do radio?

G.K., sit down. I gotta do your makeup.

You're thinking of Wilbur Scott, see?

Yeah. It's not the same person. Not the same person.

Yeah... He was dead.

You know, we used to have a dog in the act... when Wanda and Connie were in it... and that dog would sing... Ooo!

Ha ha! Ha ha ha ha!

We'd sing this old song and he would howl! Ha ha ha!

Oh, my God, that was a dog.

I been thinkin' about him all day long. Yeah.

Rusty always comes to my mind.

Does it?

♪ Go tell Aunt Gladys ♪

# Go tell Aunt Gladys ♪ That's it!

♪ Go tell Aunt Gladys ♪

♪ The old brown dog is dead ♪

♪ An old brown dog named Rusty ♪

♪ An old brown dog named Rusty ♪

♪ An old brown dog named Rusty ♪

♪ He just laid down and died ♪ Ruff! Ruff! Right on cue.

It was... I mean... Bow wow wow!

Ow, ow, ow! Bark bark bark!

Oooowww! How-ow!

I don't know if we were harmonizing with him... or he was harmonizing with us.

♪ Oh, he died from chasin' squirrels ♪ Ladies and gentlemen...

♪ He died from chasin' squirrels ♪ This is not a test.

♪ He died from chasin' squirrels ♪ We're at two minutes from broadcast.

♪ He ate one and got sick ♪

♪ Must've been a bad one ♪

# Must've been ♪ Ha ha!

♪ A bad one ♪

♪ It must've been a bad one ♪

♪ He just laid down and died ♪ Oh, my God! Oh, my God!

Oh, God! This is it!


I'm going into labor!

Oh! Uh... oh, my gosh!

I can feel it! My baby's coming out!

It's going to come out on this dirty make-up room floor!

Oh! Oh! Whoa!

Just take it easy.

Just kidding.

Ohh! You... You phony!

Get her up out of there.

You were fakin'? ! I was callin' 911!

I'm sorry. They just wouldn't pay attention.

I had to think of something... I'm going to work.

Oh! Didn't mean to scare you, Donna.

Wilmer Scott.

Let's go. Garrison!

Wilmer Scott was the one who hypnotized the chickens...

There you go. on the show.

He did like, what, four of those chickens in a row.

Four or five of them. Who was Wilmer Scott?

He was the host of that Rise and Shine Show.

Early in the morning. 5 A.M..

That's, uh, what, uh, G.K. got started in radio.

Right. Gospel show.

And he hypnotized chickens on the radio?

No, but he did the chickens on this show.

On this show?

Not on that Rise and Shine Show.


All right, let's dim the house lights.

You remember when he did those chickens?

Hypnotized them? Yep.

Chinese chickens, right?

Kung Pao, I believe.

With the little... didn't they have a little...

Here we go. Over here.


Pisca what?

The sponsor. 5 A.M.. Rise and Shine Show.

What was it called?

Made of buffalo grass...

And thirty seconds to broadcast, please.

Sassafras, and natural grain alcohol.

What was it called?


No, it's Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin.

Places, please. OK. Places.

That's what I said.

Remember the jingle? How it went?

♪ Piscacadawadaquoddymoggin Medicinal Formula ♪ Standin' by. Here we go.

It was what Wilmer Scott had in his coffee cup...

Uh-huh. every morning.

5 A.M.. Right here.

Then he quit drinking.

Uh-huh. OK. And he lost interest in radio.

Check your barn doors.

He developed mic fright.

How did he quit drinkin'?

He just quit.

And we're on. Then he raised chickens.

Show chickens. Chinese chickens.

♪ I hear that old piano ♪

♪ From down the avenue ♪

♪ I smell the pine trees ♪

♪ I look around for you ♪

♪ Oh, my sweet, sweet, sweet old someone ♪

♪ Coming through that door ♪

♪ It's Saturday and the band is playin' ♪

♪ Honey, could we ask for more? ♪ Hello, everybody, on a Saturday night... and welcome to a live broadcast... of A Prairie Home Companion coming to you... from WLT, your friendly neighbor station.

Noir, where you been?

I was lookin' after the Johnson Girls.

OK. Aren't you supposed to be guarding the door?

Are you worried about something?

Uh, I had a weird call from some crazy lady, so...

Oh, she's not that crazy.

How do you know?

Because I met her earlier this afternoon.

She came by.

What does she look like? You get a description?

Yeah, I got a description.


She was beautiful.

Her hair was what God had in mind when he said, let there be...

Hair. Right. Hair.

Hair. Yeah.

She gave me a smile so sweet... you could've poured it on your pancakes.

She was wearing a white trench coat so white... that rain would be embarrassed to fall on it.

Got it. Right.

The skirt she was wearing was so tight... you could read the embroidery on her underwear.

It said, 'Wash in lukewarm water and spin lightly.'

OK, you're makin' it up.

She had a Mount Rushmore t-shirt on, and those guys never looked so good.

Especially Jefferson and Lincoln.


Kind of bloated but happy.

If you know what I mean. Yeah.

It was an honor just to sit there and inhale the same air... that she had so recently exhaled... just to exchange the atmosphere between us, so to speak.

Look, what did she want?

Did she say anything about...


The lady.

Oh. She was looking for the Presbyterian Church.

Like a dope, I told her where it was.

And out of my life she went, just as... quickly and erotically as she had entered it.

Are you tired of your current herring?

Has it lost that certain something that you expect... in a pickled fish product?

If so, maybe it's time you try Jens Jenson.

It's the Lake Superior herring that's made the old-fashioned Norwegian way.

C-can someone turn it down, please? Please?

♪ Yeah, Jenson Herring is the best ♪ Oh, Jens Jenson's.

Please. Ask for it by name.

And if your grocer doesn't stock it, ask him why not.

You know what I'm gonna do?

I'm gonna color my hair strawberry blonde.


I swear to God, I should have done it years ago.

I should have broke loose... gone to Chicago when Mama died back then.

That's what I should have done.

You know, you put those things off.

You seldom get around to them again.

Hmm. What are you writin'?


Oh, a poem.

What's it about?

Heh. Suicide.

Oh, my God.

Oh. OK.

Well, you know what my philosophy is.

Yes, I do, so don't tell me.

I think that you gotta be grateful for everything that happens to you... because that's what got you here, you know?

And if you hadn't gone through all the things that you went through... why, you know, you wouldn't have wound up... where you are now, so, I don't know.

Disappointment doesn't get you anywhere.


Aren't you wonderful?

Well, one door closes and another one opens... then, you know, everything is a step along the way... and it all leads to something else.

Pardon me if I don't get down on my knees.

Well, that's what I think.

Ahem. Read me some of your poem.

It's not finished.



'Soliloquy for a Blue Guitar.

'Death is easy...

'like jumping into the big, blue air...

'and waving hello to God.

'God is love...

'but he doesn't necessarily drop everything...

'to catch you, does he?

'So, when you hook the hose up to your tailpipe...

'don't expect to wake up and get toast for breakfast.

'The toast is you.'

Hey, what was the name of that song?

Well, did you like it?

I won't be loanin' you my car any time soon.

Hose to the tailpipe.

Thank you so much.

I want to come in here and sing a song for you... called Slow Days of Summer.

Send this out to all the friends in my little hometown... up north of here up on the river.

♪ Slow days of summer ♪

♪ In this old town ♪

♪ Sun goes across the sky ♪

♪ Sometimes a car goes by ♪

♪ There's one right now ♪

♪ Looks like a Chevy ♪

♪ Your Chevy's blue ♪

♪ This Chevy's white and brown ♪

♪ It doesn't slow down ♪

♪ This looks like new ♪

♪ You said you'd be here ♪

♪ Someday yourself ♪

♪ Maybe by Saturday ♪

♪ If you can get away ♪

♪ You'll let me know ♪

You came back.

I did.

The Presbyterians weren't who you were looking for?

No, Mr. Noir.

I was sent here.

What can I do for you?

Really nothing.

I'll take care of it.

♪ Playing a note... ♪ You have a nice show here, Mr. Noir.

Thanks. We like it.

Do you believe in the fullness of time and the spirit?

Most people don't, you know.

It would be good, Mr. Noir, if you would open your heart... to the fullness of time and the spirit... which upholds and sustains us all through this world. Amen.

Whatever you say.


♪ Waiting for love to come ♪

♪ All is alive ♪

♪ Birds sing with angel tongues ♪

♪ Small stones like diamonds ♪

♪ All down the drive ♪

♪ Around the corner, an old dog appears ♪

♪ Sits in the summer sun ♪

♪ Waiting for love to come ♪

♪ Wish you were here ♪

♪ Wish you were here ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

Thank you, boys.

And the next week, we're back doin' the county fair circuit... changin' our petticoats in the ladies' toilet... and the boys tryin' to peek in.

Ha ha ha!

That was the only good part about it.

Then you have to go outdoors and sing in the open air... with a cloud of mosquitoes around your head.

Remember that time... honestly, Lola, honest to God... a dragonfly flew right in my mouth.

Oh, yeah!

It was this big. I thought it was a bird.

How old were you then?

I was thirteen. Your mother was ten.

Wanda was what?

Wanda was sixteen. Connie, fifteen.


That was the end of it. The end of the road.

That was a great...

You know, Wanda took it real hard, didn't she?

A week later, she got arrested.

For what? You never told me this.

Shoplifting, and I did tell you this.

Mom, you're going senile. You didn't tell me that.


She was havin' a cup of coffee in the cafe.

She ordered a glazed doughnut.

She started eatin' it and she got a sugar rush.

She was diagnosed hypoglycemic.

And so, she forgets she didn't pay for the doughnut... and she walks out the door.

It wasn't two minutes... But they arrested her for shopliftin'.

The red lights are flashin' and she's in handcuffs...

And they had a policeman there. And the cameras, the TV camera... the station came right down. It was on the news.

And her hair is, like, stickin' out like this and she's bawlin'... and Daddy sees it on the 10:00 newscast.

'Cause he was in the hospital with Mama.

She was havin' her tubes tied after Johnny was born.

Thank you.

Didn't need to know that. Well.

Daddy sees Wanda gettin' arrested on TV for shoplifting.

He has a major coronary occlusion.


He just climbed up into the hospital bed with Mama... then he pulled the sheet up over his own face... and when the nurse came in, he was dead.

That was it. You know?

He left a note, 'cause Wanda got released from jail just for the funeral.

He said, 'Wanda, you broke my heart. Signed, Daddy.'

She did thirty days for one glazed doughnut.

A 59-cent doughnut. If it had been rock and roll... she could have thrown sofas out of the window... hotel window. No, not even her own sofa.

She could throw somebody else's sofa out the window.

You don't know what kind of passersby at the bottom.

She could have been hittin' people. It wouldn't have mattered.

But when you're playin' to Christian family audiences like we were... you so much as forget to pay for a damn doughnut... they throw you out like a piece of garbage.

Sooner kill you than look at you.

Some of those good people, eh?

The Soderberg family selling out!

I just do not get it.

I mean, they've owned WLT... since they ran it out of a sandwich shop.

I mean, that's what the call letters stand for, you know.

'With Lettuce and Tomato.' Did you know that?

I mean, how do you just walk away from somethin' like that?

I mean, what are we? Used Kleenex?

They got old, babe.

They started thinking about ease and comfort.

Then, I figure, they saw a brochure about an island with palm trees... and an azure sky and miles of sand... and they thought, 'Hey! Ha ha!

'We don't have to suffer through these miserable Minnesota winters.

'We don't have to freeze our butts off waiting for our bus to come.

'Our bus has come. It's here. We'll leave the business to the kids...

'and we'll head for paradise and to hell with it.'

Only trouble is... the kids had already gone down to paradise ahead of them.

So then, a big corporation down in Texas... offered them a gazillion dollars for it.



They talk funny and their eyes don't focus... and their flesh is rotting and falling off... but hey. You know. So what?

Yeah, nobody's perfect and, uh... money is money... so, the Soderbergs took the dough. End of story.

Do you have any tweezers?

Egg salad or ham salad?

Why are you crying?

Well, it's the last show.

I'm never going to see these people again.

You'll see them again.

I knew all of them from the old days.

Soupy and Red, Ray.

And Helen.

Gone and forgotten.

Every sparrow is remembered.

I don't even know if they're gonna make a speech or anything.

It doesn't seem right, does it?


Some big company come in and steps on us... like we were bugs at the picnic.

What's in ham salad?

I... I can't remember the word. It was...

May I...





Well, it's an end of an era when this show goes, guys.

There won't be anything left on the radio except what?

People yellin' at you and computers playing music.

I mean, it's a tragedy.

I wasn't gonna tell you this... but between you and me and the fly on the wall... there's a woman on the premises who I think, maybe, is gonna save our bacon.


She's got that look about her.

Who is she?

I'm not sure. I'm still working on figuring that one out.

Just close your eyes for a second.

She from NorComm?

Time will tell.

I'll just let personal charm and dashing good looks do their work.

She walked in, couldn't take her eyes off me.

Drawn to me like a moth to the flame.

Every time there's a triumph in the world... a million souls have to be trampled on.

And right there... you can see it right in the damn carpet.

What does that have to do with anything?

Mama. She l... she went...

She went up to the...

It was a lot for Mama to put up with.

We had to shovel her into the Good Shepherd Home.

That's it. That was the sad day.

Connie quit the act.

God, we'd already lost Wanda.

Wanda was like magic.

The four of us, when we were together... she was singin'. She was...

And next to you, I'm tellin' you... you've followed in her footsteps.

You are the same... the same talent.

No. I don't know about that.

So, now, it's just the two of us.

Yep. Just the two of us.

You know what? It was your dad got us on the radio.

God, that was a good-lookin' family!

I can understand you goin' for that guy.

Yeah, he sang like an angel.

He sang...

♪ Softly and tenderly ♪

♪ Jesus is calling ♪

♪ Callin' for you and for me ♪

♪ See on the portal ♪

♪ He's waiting and watching ♪

♪ Watching for you and for me ♪

♪ Come home ♪

♪ Come home ♪

♪ Ye who are weary, come home ♪ Hmm-mmm.

Singing is the only thing that puts me right.


♪ Well, Charlie, you're a good ol' boy ♪

♪ Charlie, you're all right ♪

♪ Charlie, open up the store ♪

♪ We're comin' down tonight ♪

♪ Out where you can see the stars ♪

♪ And the living's slow ♪

♪ We'll eat potluck and pool guitars ♪

♪ Down on Old Plank Road ♪

♪ Ohh ♪

♪ Down on Old Plank Road ♪

♪ We'll eat potluck and pool guitars ♪

♪ Down on Old Plank Road ♪

♪ Come home ♪

♪ Come home ♪

♪ Ye who are weary, come home ♪ Hold it. Are we on?

Uh, not yet. You've got a few minutes.

What are we doin'?

You're on in the Powdermilk segment doing Gold Watch and Chain with him.

We haven't done that for years.

♪ I'll pawn you my gold watch and chain, love ♪

♪ I'll pawn you my gold wedding ring... ♪ Excuse me.

I gotta get a head start on gettin' pie-eyed tonight.

♪ This heart in my bosom ♪

♪ Only say that you'll love me again ♪ How about Red River Valley?

Fine. Whatever you'd like.

I would just like there to be a spot for Lola on the show later.

I hope so. If there's time.

Well, this isn't really gonna be your last show, is it?

Every show's your last show.

That's my philosophy.

Thank you, Plato. Kierkegaard.

Button up, would ya?

I am. That's as far as it goes.

♪ Well, sister and her oldest girl ♪

♪ They sing so good together ♪

♪ Jason, he can make me laugh ♪

♪ And he just keeps gettin' better ♪

♪ Claire has got a sweet new one ♪

♪ About her, Timmy-o ♪

♪ And John is everybody's man ♪

♪ Down on Old Plank Road ♪

♪ Ohh ♪

♪ Down on Old Plank Road ♪ Hey, uh... can you tell potato face here that his butt is too big for his pants... and people can see his crack... and it ain't nothin' any normal person would ever care to look at?


In the back. That's where your crack is.

Well, I don't see nothin'.

Hey, Molly. Don't talk to me.

Am I decent back there?

Don't ask me. I'm not your mother.

You might be decent if you lost 25 pounds of ugly fat.

And I might suggest cuttin' off your head.

She showed me her tattoo once.

Hell she did.

On her shoulder.

You're lyin' through your teeth.

Left shoulder. Right here.

That ain't the shoulder. Whatever you want to call it.

I'd call it the clavicle.

OK, well, why don't you ask her about it?

Maybe she'll let you have a look.

Well, what did it say?

It said, 'Freedom.'

Fr... Now I know you're lyin'.

Come on. We gotta put out the CDs.

Come on, niece.

Hey. Molly.

Molly, here. Take these out front.

Did you hear about the Soderbergs sellin' the radio station?

I heard all about it.

Are you OK?

Yes, of course. Hmm?

Kind of a bizarre feeling, isn't it?

What? The silence.


Well... you're gonna say somethin' about it.

You're gonna talk to the people, aren't you?

Say, 'Thanks for listening,' or something.

Yeah, you know.

I don't think so.

Why not? Say, 'Thank you.'


I'm just not into making big speeches.

What do you do when you leave somebody's house?

You don't just turn around...

I don't make a big speech. A big weepy speech.

Oh, that's it! You're afraid that you're gonna cry!

I wouldn't.

Yeah, that's right. That's true. You wouldn't.

And you know, that's why, I think, that our romance was so short.

Because I knew that when we broke up, you would not cry... so, I got way over it.

Does that make sense to you?

No, not at all.

Bebopareebop Frozen Rhubarb Pie and Frozen Rhubarb Pie Filling.

Wouldn't this be a good time for a piece of rhubarb pie?

♪ Yes, one little thing can revive a guy ♪

♪ And that is a piece of rhubarb pie ♪

♪ Serve it up, nice and hot ♪

♪ Maybe things aren't as bad as you thought ♪

♪ Mammy's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb ♪

♪ Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie ♪

♪ Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb ♪

♪ Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie ♪

♪ Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie ♪ Yes, Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.

And now, for Bebopareebop... please welcome one of radio's great singing families... the Johnson Girls, Rhonda and Yolanda.

Hi, everybody. Hi.

Oh, thank you. Thank you! Thank you very much.

I just want to say right away how happy I am... that my daughter Lola is here tonight.

Come on, Lola. Oh! Thank you, sweetheart.

They want to see you.

It means a lot to me that you came.

Yeah, I named my little girl Lola after our own mother.

Yeah, Lola was our mom.

Lola. And tonight, we're gonna sing... an old song that our mother loved.

Oh, it's one of her favorites.

Yep. She was our inspiration.

Some of you know this story... but she's the main reason that we started makin' music originally... because you know she... it was the only way we knew to make her happy.

She'd be down on the kitchen floor scrubbin' on her knees.

But if you stood in the doorway and you sang a song that she liked... why, she would just look up and smile.

Ha ha! Worn out as she was... it was a smile as wide as the Mississippi. Heh heh.

Down at the mouth.

Not so slow, you sons of bitches. I'll break your necks.

Yeah. I mean it.

And you could see her gold tooth.

♪ Way down upon that old Mississippi River ♪

♪ Not so far away ♪

♪ That's where my folks have lived forever ♪

♪ And that's where I'm going to stay ♪

♪ I been searchin' 'cross the whole creation ♪

♪ Half my life or more ♪

♪ And more ♪

♪ But I found my own sweet satisfaction ♪

♪ Right here on that muddy river shore ♪

♪ All the world is so sad and dreary ♪

♪ Everywhere I roam ♪

# Oh ♪ # Oh, Mama ♪

♪ Mama, how I miss the prairie ♪

♪ And my Minnesota home ♪ I can see my mama's sweet, sweet face every Sunday morning.

All the good old hymns, praise God, that we've sung.

We knelt in prayer right beside our precious aunts and uncles...

♪ Who loved us when we were young ♪

♪ In the valley of darkness ♪

♪ They are the shepherds ♪

♪ Who lead me to pastures green ♪

♪ And I'll sit with my mama ♪

♪ By the still, still waters ♪

♪ And goodness and mercy follow me ♪

♪ I floated down ♪

♪ The Columbia and the Hudson ♪

♪ Walked on the banks of the Ohio ♪

♪ On the banks of the Wabash ♪

♪ And the mighty Colorado ♪

♪ And the old Red River way up north ♪

♪ All the world ♪

♪ It is a world of rivers ♪

♪ Flowing to the sea ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ But here on that old Mississippi ♪

♪ Here is the home for you and me ♪ Come on, bring it home!

♪ All the world ♪

♪ It is so sad and dreary ♪

♪ Everywhere I roam ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, Mama ♪

♪ How I missed the prairie ♪

♪ E-e-e ♪ Ha ha. Ha ha.

♪ And my Minnesota ♪

♪ Home ♪

The Johnson Girls, thank you.

Brought to you by Powdermilk Biscuits... in the big blue box with the picture of the biscuit on the cover.

Heavens, they're tasty.

And expeditious.

Also brought to you by Mel's Big Boy Buffet.

Why pay more for fancy food... when what you really want is meatloaf, squash... mashed potatoes, and bread pudding... all at Mel's Big Boy Buffet for just 4.99.

Yes, you heard me right.


Let's bring out Mr. Chuck Akers here...

Mr. Chuck Akers, come out here and give us a song.

The sweet singer of Kandiyohi County... the heartthrob of mature women everywhere.

My good friend, Mr. Chuck Akers.

Good to see you, sir.

Thank you, sir.

Uh, we would like to bring a song to all of our fans.

Now, that's kind of tough to do, 'cause we're all over the place.

Take me. Yeah, I've bounced all over.

I've done tent shows, schoolhouses, uh, parkin' lots... the back of trucks, movie theaters, auditoriums.

I've even done churches.

Now, that's hard to believe, I know.

Anyway, this song is for you.

And we mean every word of it, all right?

Sic 'em.

♪ Hmm ♪

♪ Do do do do ♪

♪ My bark of life ♪

♪ Was tossin' down ♪

♪ The troubled stream of time ♪

♪ When first I saw ♪

♪ Your smilin' face ♪

♪ And youth was in its prime ♪

♪ Oh, I'll ne'er forget ♪

♪ Where'er I roam ♪

♪ Wherever you may be ♪

♪ If ever I ♪

♪ Have had a friend ♪

♪ You've been that friend to me ♪ Hey, Lola. Hi.

Heard you're gonna sing a song for us, lookin' forward to that.

Oh, no. I don't... maybe.

Well, it sure would mean the world to your mom.

She always said you had talent.

Yeah, I don't... I don't really know any of their songs.

I only know my own songs.

Well, sing one of them then.

They're mostly about death.


Well, lotta good songs about death.

All mine are about suicide.


Yeah, you know, um, hangin' yourself with an extension cord... carbon monoxide, overdose... Hey, ahem... you know, we could do, uh, Amazing Grace together.

I know Amazing Grace.

Yeah? Well, hey, look.

I'll play the guitar, we'll sing it together... we'll bring this house down.

You know, I don't know if you knew this... about my friend Dusty here... Hey, hey.

But he learned to sing gospel music in San Quentin.

And full shush.

Yes sir, that's where I met him.

I was with Johnny Cash, singin' in prisons.

Shut the pie hole.

There were all these heinous, depraved criminals...

And well... Liar, liar. Whatever, moron.

He sang Amazing Grace... and it almost made you forget what he'd done.

Which I don't wanna talk about.

You know, you are so dumb, you may be twins.

He made me promise on a Bible that I would never tell, and I won't.

So let that be the end of it. Let me just say this, though.

Watch out for hugs.



♪ If ever I ♪

♪ Have had a friend ♪

♪ You've been that friend ♪

# To me ♪ # To me ♪

♪ If ever I ♪

♪ Have had a friend ♪

♪ You've been that friend to me ♪ Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you, G.K.

Mr. Chuck Akers!

Thank you, Chuck.

Robin and Linda Williams.

Let's come in here now with a word about ketchup.

Yes, ketchup, made from tomatoes that contain natural sunshine... which we need in this part of the country.

We are not a sunshiny people.

We're not a paradise people or a beach people.

We are dark people.

People who believed it could be worse.

And we're waiting for it to become worse.

We come from people who brought us up to believe... that life is a struggle... and if you should ever feel really happy... be patient. This will pass.

Ha ha ha. So we could...

When do you guys go on?

As soon as ol' spud butt here shuts his yapper.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Hey, you are gonna be great. Give me a hug.

All right, guys.

More show in just a moment... but let's come in here now with a word about shoes!

That's Guy's Shoes. Boys...

♪ Talkin' shoes ♪

♪ Talkin' Guy's ♪

♪ Any two, any size ♪

♪ From your ankles to your toes ♪

♪ At the bottom of your clothes ♪

♪ You're talkin' shoes ♪

♪ Talkin' Guy's ♪ Yes, Guy's Shoes. They're made to last.

Ask about those Guy's Cash Shoes, with the hole in the soles... so you stash your cash when you're out on the trail.

Isn't that right, Lefty?

That's where I keep mine, G.K.

All right. Let's welcome 'em now... the old trail hands here... the Pachelbels of the prairie, the Brahmses of the bunkhouse... here they are, Dusty and Lefty.

Good to have you with us. Well, thank you, Garrison.

Yes sir, it's good to be back on the show... because, you know, it gets mighty lonesome out there on the prairie.

And a cowboy gets tired of scenery after a while.

You get, well, sceneried out, and uh... sort of wish you had somebody to talk to.

Somebody smart.

Hmm. Ha ha ha.

So you're lonesome for people, huh?

Well, you know, it's true, Garrison.

And, uh, it-it ain't the same just talkin' to your horse.

My horse is extremely smart.

Uh, he knows math.

He knows physics and chemistry... but I can't seem to teach him philosophy.

Can't teach him philosophy, eh?

Well, no. You can't put Descartes before the horse.

Aw... Ha ha ha.

That was a good one, you know?

Well, what do you reckon we sing a song, Dusty?

Well, let's do it, Lefty.

One, two, you know what to do.

♪ I'm just an old cowboy ♪

♪ With twigs in my hair ♪

♪ Two-thirds alligator ♪

♪ And three-quarters bear ♪

♪ And one half a lion ♪

♪ But let it be known ♪

♪ I never told one lie ♪

♪ That was not my own ♪

♪ Whoopi-ti-yi-yo ♪

♪ Get along, little dogie ♪

♪ I eat when I'm hungry ♪

♪ I'll drink when I'm dry ♪

♪ Don't boss me or cross me ♪

♪ Or I'll spit in your eye ♪

♪ I think what I please ♪

♪ And I say what I mean ♪

♪ And I think all you women ♪

♪ Are the finest I've seen ♪

♪ Whoopi-ti-yi-yo... ♪ So my mom said, um... my mom said, you got into radio... uh, when someone was flying a kite whose clothes came off? Ha.

A naked man flying. Quite a sight.

Why didn't he pull his shorts up?

He was hanging on to the kite, couldn't let go.

He was up high. Ha.

A hundred feet up in the air... fifty.


So, how did that get you into radio?

Well, that was how I met your dad.

Here comes the solo.

Yeah, real good. Real good.

Wait, naked guy... Yeah?

Was my dad? Right.


Naked man with red swim trunks around his ankles.

Couple thousand people saw it... so we figured it was a good time to leave town... so we got a car, and we headed down to Chicago.

♪ We ride in the snow ♪

♪ And we ride in the rain ♪

♪ Just like Gene Autry ♪

♪ Just like John Wayne ♪

♪ They were better cowboys ♪

♪ Than us and I mean it ♪

♪ But we are still livin' ♪

♪ And that is convenient ♪

♪ Huh! ♪

♪ Pi-ti-yi-yo ♪

♪ Get along, little dogie ♪

♪ Huh! ♪

♪ Pi-ti-yi-yo ♪

♪ Get along, little dogies ♪

I go in to pay for the gas... and he wakes up and decides he needs to use the men's room.

So I come back.

I think he's still sleeping in the back seat... and I get behind the wheel, and I drive to Chicago.

I leave him there in Oshkosh.

And he goes into the café, and your mother was the waitress.

That's how they met.

That's how I came to be born.

Well, it kind of led to that, yeah.

Yeah, but I mean if you had looked in the back seat... and... and seen that he wasn't there, I wouldn't exist.

Well, he and I weren't getting along that well, so that's why.

That's really strange.

Well, no. I think it's one... of the most beautiful things I ever did not do.

So how'd you get into radio then?

Well, there was a show called, uh, The Baked Bean Jubilee.

Yeah, with my dad. With your dad, right.

Happy Baked Beans. Happy Baked Beans, you know?

♪ Happy Baked Beans ♪

♪ Are nutritious ♪ Shh! Keep your voices down!

♪ Made the natural way ♪ Keep your voices down! # Made of natural fiber ♪ Shh! Shh! Shh! Shh!

♪ Try some, you will say ♪ There's a show going on! # They are nature's fruit ♪

♪ Root-ti-toot-toot-toot ♪

♪ Try baked beans ♪

♪ Every day ♪

♪ Ooh, baby ♪

# You're my man ♪ Mmm. Hmm!

♪ Ahh, ooh, you do what... ♪ Let's come in here now with some cards and letters... from the friends and neighbors out there.

So good to know that you're out there listening.

Here's a little note here from Aaron... who says our show is a source of comfort and laughter for him.

And he's hoping... And he's hopin' that the Johnson Girls... he's goin' to hear them shake their hips a little... and sing Touch me, Kiss me, Be my man.

No, he was just joking, he says.

Just joking about that.

He was hoping that we would sing, uh, Gold Watch and Chain.

Oh. Oh, I bet. Yolanda.

Yolanda and I.

So let's bring up Yolanda here.

This beautiful old song Gold Watch and Chain. Boys.

♪ Darlin', how can I stay here without you? ♪

♪ I have nothing to ease my poor heart ♪

♪ All the world would seem sad, dear, without you ♪

♪ Tell me now that we never will part ♪

♪ I will pawn you my gold watch and chain, love ♪

♪ I will pawn you my gold wedding ring ♪

♪ I will pawn you this... ♪ Molly? What?

Would you come here a moment?

What is it, Guy?

Um, I just want to...


You are fat.

Y-you might think about cutting down on the, um, desserts and the beer.

And also possibly sex with men.

W-when did... when did this take place?

Who... who did this to you?

Ahh, yes, Lefty, Dusty, are... are you boys aware of this?

O-our little girl's going to be a-a single mom.

You poor thing. Thank you.

I'll swear on a stack of Bibles it wasn't me, darlin'.

Oh, that's great to know, Dusty. Thanks.

♪ Do not scorn her ♪

♪ With words fierce and bitter ♪

♪ Do not laugh at her shame and downfall ♪ You should sit.

♪ For a moment, just stop and consider ♪ Just ignore them.

♪ That a man was the cause of it all ♪ Dusty!


That reminds me.

About that obscene song you sang last week.

Obscene? Uh... Yeah.

'I'll give you my moonshine if you show me your jugs'?

No, not that one.

'Lovin' you ain't easy, but I hear your sister is'?

No, no, no. 'Come ride my pony all night long.

'Come ride him bareback, I'll sing you a song.' That one.

That's just a song about ridin' a pony.


Oh, what... what the hell did you think it was about?

Let's go out with a little style, OK?

What do you say?

'Go out'? What do you mean?

Just what I said.

'Go out?' You mean me?

All of us.

What the Sam Hill are you talkin' about, mister?

Ohh. Hold on. Hey.

Got some nice egg salad sandwiches if you're hungry.

No gunplay backstage.

I'm hungry. I'm always hungry.

Did you know that she's pregnant?

♪ And can't be returned ♪

♪ You have left me and gone to another ♪

♪ All my hopes and bridges are burned ♪

♪ But I will pawn you my gold watch and chain, love ♪

♪ And I will pawn you my gold wedding ring ♪

♪ I will pawn you this heart in my bosom ♪

♪ Only say that you'll love me again ♪

♪ Only say that you'll love me again ♪

♪ Only say that you'll love me again ♪ Hee hee.

Thank you, Yolanda.

What a beautiful, beautiful song.

This portion of our show is brought to you... by Powdermilk Biscuits... and also brought to you by duct tape.

Duct tape. Yes, duct tape.

Duct tape.

Useful thing around the household... almost anything that comes up around the household.

Sometimes you need to make repairs, doors come loose... and windows, all sorts of things can happen.

Sometimes you just forget something that you're looking for... and duct tape can come in handy.

You can wrap it around your finger like a string or something.

You can just tape it up. Whatever.

Things do tend to fall apart, you know.

Confusion reins endemic in our world today.

Just things tend to drift... Oh, jeez.

And especially as you get to be older... duct tape is the most useful thing you'll find.

All repairs are short term. We know that.

Say a faucet should be dripping and you, and you...

The water is falling there, dripping onto your cupboard... and the... and the wood comes loose from the wall... and you need something to fix it.

Just reach for a roll of duct tape.

That would be the... the perfect thing.

Or maybe your orangutano's been jumpin' up and down on it.

The weight of the orangutan has, like, you know, crushed... uh, crushed part of the counter.

And... and then your Rottweiler... he comes runnin' out and he bites the orangutan in the hinder.

Gets him all riled up.


The Rottweiler, actually, is locked in the basement.

Sorry to correct you there, Rhonda.

I can hear them goin' at it.

He's down locked in the basement. The Rottweiler and the orangutan.

A double lock there.

Because the... uh, the orangutan, you know...

They got, uh, the fingers and he's got a saw.

A chainsaw.

He cut a big hole in the door and the Rottweiler got out.

That's how he bit the orangutan in the hinder.

And then... and then don't forget about the peacock.

And then the flock. Uh, overhead there was... a big helicopter came flyin' through.

Right through a flock of Canadian geese.

And, uh, really was gettin' someone's goose was cooked.

And then they startled the peacock.

Yeah! Then...

And then this... this sick...

The peacock. No, wait.

This sadist... this sadist in uh, sneakers was creepin' up on everybody.

And the peacock, he... uh... he jumps right at the orangutan.

His beak... yeah... is flashing like a scimitar.

Yeah, but the, uh, but his aim is... uh, goes awry and it... and then, um...

He takes that chainsaw and he throws it.

The orangutan throws it at the peacock.

But he's got a bad aim. The aim.

It goes right through a plate-glass window.

But it almost...

Yeah... hits the mailman.

Wow! Oh!

Murray. But doesn't. It misses him by inches.

And by the way, he's bringin' you a letter from your ex-girlfriend. Remember her?

Who is still furious at you for having dumped her.

You know, just thrown her aside, the woman who loved you.

Just because you found somebody new.

How could you do that?

She will never understand. And, um... duct tape isn't gonna help you with that one bit.

No, I suppose not, but with two out of...

And duct tape is not gonna make an honest man out of you.

No, it won't. But with two out of three chores around the home, duct tape.

And it isn't even gonna help you find whatever it was... you were lookin' for, so... what were you lookin' for?

I was lookin' for duct tape. Duct tape.

All repairs are temporary and short term.

It's almost just about the only thing... that really works sometimes, and that is duct tape.

More of A Prairie Home Companion here in just a moment... right after we come in with a word about coffee.

Yes, Jearlyn, nothing stimulates a person... keeps you focused quite like good old caffeine.

Black coffee.

Mmm. So good. I'm glad you like it, too.

♪ Smells so lovely when you pour it ♪

♪ You will want to drink a quart of coffee ♪

♪ It's delicious all alone ♪

♪ It's also good with doughnuts ♪

♪ Black coffee ♪

♪ Coffee stimulates your urges ♪

♪ It's served in Lutheran churches ♪

♪ Keeps the Swedes and the Germans ♪

♪ Awake through the sermons ♪

♪ Have a pot of it today ♪

♪ I'm sure you'll say it's awfully good coffee ♪

Chuck? I'm ready for you now.


♪ Much too long ♪ Hey, you decent? Chuck?


Chuck, what you got goin' in here, huh?


Candles and music and...

Hey, hey, wake up, buddy.

Hey... Chu...


♪ Oh, my Lord does just what he said ♪

♪ Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me ♪

♪ He healed the sick and He raised the dead ♪

♪ Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me ♪

♪ Shine on ♪

♪ Let it shine on ♪

♪ Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me ♪

♪ From the lighthouse shine on me ♪

♪ Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me ♪

♪ Oh, this whole world's gonna reel and rock ♪

♪ Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me ♪ Honey? It's me.

Ready or not, here I come.

I am lookin' for a big hot dog to put in my bun, you old dog, you.

Why you hidin' from me?

Wake up. Wake up, sugar.



Chuck! Chuck!

It's OK. It's OK. It's OK.

But how can he be dead?

He just went away, that's all.

Oh, my Chuck.

My baby.

The death of an old man is not a tragedy.


I don't want him to go.

Forgive him his shortcomings and thank him for all of his love and care.

♪ Shine on ♪

♪ Let it shine on ♪

♪ Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me ♪ Good-bye, baby.

♪ Let it shine on ♪

♪ Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me ♪ Ohh! Ooh!

♪ Shine ♪

♪ Let it shine ♪

♪ Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me ♪

♪ Shine ♪

♪ Let it shine ♪

♪ Let the light from the lighthouse ♪

♪ Shine on ♪

♪ Me ♪

Thank you so much.

Time to break now for station identification.

And we'll right back with more right after this.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are now at nine minutes to broadcast, please.

Nine minutes.

Hey. No smokin', mister.

Chuck Akers is dead. He's gone.

I don't follow your reasoning there.

I said Chuck is dead.

Who's dead?




He just died now?

I don't know when the hell he died.

I wasn't there.

What was the approximate time of death?

Recent. Why don't you go check it out for yourself.

He's in there.

Does anyone else know about this?

I have no idea.

Because if anyone else knows about this and they're not saying anything...

I need to know about that.

Excuse me.

I used to listen to your show... until I died.

My name was Lois Peterson.

I was driving up to this cabin up north... and you were telling a story and I was laughing.

And then the car skidded off the road and into a ditch and it flipped.

And as it did, the thought occurred to me... that the story just wasn't that funny.

And then...

I was standing in this tall grass looking down at my own body.


So sorry.

I was on my way to that cabin to meet my lover Larry.

We had been planning it for over two months.

And because of your story, I lost control and I died.

So... I'm so sorry.

So you killed me, in a way.

Isn't that interesting?

He's quite dead.

Just a half an hour ago he was walkin' around... exchangin' the gases with the atmosphere.

Well, there's a lot more out than in now.

We should call the cops.


When the time is right, I'll make the call.

You... just, um...

All right. We're at five minutes from broadcast.

Don't talk about this to anyone. All right?

Keep it under your hat.

Go about your business.

I'm gonna secure the area.

Let's get on with the show.

You gonna be all right?

Yeah, I'll be all right.

So you're really an angel?

Of course.


What do you do?

Well, that's a dumb question.

No, no. I... uh, I do lots of things.

I comfort people that are desperately sad.

And I make personal appearances.


Tears on a statue.

One time I put the face of the Lord on a bowl of oatmeal.

Just to cheer people up.

You know, those kind of things.

But mostly I... I take people up to see God.

That's why I'm here.

But I-I just keep thinking about that story... and why it was funny.

The story I told on the radio?

It was about penguins.

Oh. The penguin joke.

Two penguins standing on an ice floe.

That's the one.

And the first penguin says...

'You look like you're wearing a tuxedo.'

And the second penguin says...

'What makes you think I'm not?'

Is there more? No.

That's the joke? Mm-hmm.

Why is that funny?

I guess it's funny because people laugh at it.

I'm not laughing.

You're an angel.

G.K. to the stage, please. G.K. to the stage, please.

I should probably go.

Oh yes, of course. I didn't come for you.

Oh. OK. All right.

I think they're waiting for me.

Oh... what did the second penguin say?

The second penguin said, 'What makes you think I'm not?' OK?

OK. All right. See you.

Take your time.


Two minutes from broadcast. Two minutes, please.

Ahem. Ahem. Ahem.

Could I have a word with you?

Uh, we have a situation here, um, which we are monitoring... but I wanted you to be apprised of it.

You mean the woman in the white trench coat?

No, there's a woman in a w... a white trench coat, yes. You saw her?

I saw her over here. You spoke to her?

You... no, you were talking to her.

You saw that?

Yeah. You.

Well, if you see her in the audience, I need you to give me a high sign.

Just use... give me a signal with your hand.

Do, uh...

No. Here, do it behind your back.

Just... just... just wiggle. Rabbit tail?

Yeah, and give me a verbal, uh, sign, some... something in code.

Just say, uh, indemnity.

Indemnity. Yeah. OK.

Or no. Granite Falls.

OK. How does that...

How does that go? Granite Falls?

Well, you just say, uh, then we would like to do a song now... for our dear friends in...

Granite Falls.

OK. All right. OK.

And then if I miss that, uh, this'll be a cue for Rich... to do a-a musical turn.

That's the code. Code?

Then I'll get it. OK?

That's how I got into radio, actually.

Morse code.

I was a deckhand on a... on a boat.

Big storm. November.

I'll never forget it.

You got on the ship radio... and you told jokes and you sang for two hours... until the ship came in safely to port.

Right. I told you that story?

Granite Falls.

G. K? Granite Falls. Right.


If you see G.K. do that behind his back... Fifteen seconds. it's your cue to go like this.

So what are you gonna do for work after this?

I don't know. I'll find a job somewhere.

Like where?

A job where I never have to say a word.


That's why. Right there.

What are you gonna do?

Like be an underwear model or something?

If they ask, sure.

You're on. Yes.

And we're back with more of A Prairie Home Companion... brought to you by the Federation of Associated Organizations.

Somewhere there's an organization just for you.

And brought to you by Fred Farrell... the name you've gradually come to trust... when it comes to animal nuisance control.

The Johnson Girls coming up... and the old trail hands, Dusty and Lefty are with us... and our good friend Jearlyn Steele.


♪ The day is short ♪

♪ The night is long ♪

♪ Why do we work so hard ♪

♪ To get what we don't even want? ♪

♪ We work so hard ♪

♪ To get ahead of the game ♪ It's time for me to go.


I am the angel Asphodel.

I come here to do my work and bring mercy into the world... and praise His holy name.

OK. That's fine with me.

You wanna be an angel?

I say you... you be an angel.

You're angelic enough for me.

I say spread your wings and fly.

This is a revelation.

For the both of us.

Listen, if you're an angel, I, uh...

I wonder if... you and me were to, uh... you know.

Would you... feel anything?

I would feel love.

♪ And Daddy's on the way ♪

♪ The day is short ♪

♪ The night is long ♪

♪ Why do you work so hard ♪

♪ To get what you don't even want? ♪

You can wait here. This won't take long.

♪ The day is short ♪ Do you have a ticket? I'm with the company.

♪ The night is long ♪

♪ Why do you work so hard ♪

♪ To get ♪

♪ What you don't even ♪

♪ Want? ♪

You got a problem with horses?

No, no, no. Just... please behave. That's all I'm askin'.

Al, Al. There's somethin' wrong with this bulb.

No, no. It's supposed to blink.

That's my... so it doesn't ring.

That's my phone. Excuse me.


He's here?

OK. Thanks.

The, uh, axeman is here.

I'll take care of it.

All right.


Anybody seen Molly?

♪ And he is awful happy that I'm here ♪

♪ And that we have New Munich Beer ♪

♪ Have a glass and tell a joke ♪

♪ About a guy who danced the polka ♪

♪ And remember that the party has to end ♪

♪ My friend ♪

♪ Adieu, adieu, kind friends, adieu ♪

♪ Adieu, adieu ♪

♪ But first, let's have another brew ♪

♪ Maybe two ♪ Mr. Crust?

Cruett! I don't believe we've met.

Guy Noir.

Vice-president, Security and, uh, Data Acquisition.

Good for you. Show almost over?

Almost. Yes.

Just in time then.

The show's been going on how long?

Somebody said fifty years.

N-nearly. Uh, thirty... something.

Weird. It's like a time warp.

I feel like an anthropologist... finding some primitive tribe squatting around a fire in the forest... telling stories, sparks flying up in the air.

Yeah. Heh heh.

Well, we've got the, uh, luxury box for you, right here.

Right this way.

Who's that guy?

Oh, that's the guy, uh, used to come see the shows here.

Um, local boy. He's a writer.

Uh, he wrote novels.

Uh, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Grew up right here in St. Paul.

What kind of novels?

Uh, romantic ones.

Oh. Mostly.

I don't read romances. No time.

Hmm. We usually have, uh, clients in here.

You know, five or six of them at a time, sponsors...

That's some nice plaster work around the proscenium there.

We'll have to remember to save a piece of that.

I wish we were taping this show.

This is a live show.

Videotape. Historical purposes.

Send it to a museum.

Well, this is just great. This is all I need.

This is the first time somebody died at the show.

I mean, the first time! Al, we're all gettin' older.

He's dead? !

The show's not over, is it?

We've got a dead man downstairs.

We've gotta do something.

Just be glad... glad you don't have him onstage.

When did this happen? Who's that, Chuck?

Yes. Where's Evelyn?

Evelyn was down there.

He was waitin' for Evelyn when he passed away.

He died with a heart full of hope.

Yeah, that's not a bad way to go when you think about it.

Sittin' there in the dark, in your underwear, you know?

Waitin' for your lover to come.

He was in his underwear?

Donna told me he was wearin' boxer shorts with big raspberries on 'em... and a great big bottle of massage oil and a bayberry candle goin'... and Mills Brothers' Greatest Hits.

He was all set. He was loaded for Evelyn.

Well, uh, can I offer you somethin' to drink?

Water. No ice. No lemon.

Water. No ice. No lemon.

Straight up. Neat.

Radio sound effects learned from a master.

What can I tell you about the show?

I know everything I need to know about the show.

You're sure about that? Yes.

You're not gonna change your mind?

Ahh! No.


Lot of good people up there.

On the stage.

Lot of 'em.

I mean, I'm a man of the world like yourself... but, uh, these folks put their lives into this.

Now they can put their lives into something else.

There's always something to put your life into, isn't there?

It's like the Scripture tells us... you have to lose your life before you can... find it.

Scripture is guiding you here?

The company is owned by people of faith, Mr. Noir.

Ahh. Before I came to the Lord, I played in a band myself.

The Dukes of Rhythm. Ha ha.

We were terrible.

Then, thank God, we were saved by the simple realization of the truth.

We were no good. We got fired.

It was a blessing.

You wanna say something?

Say what? No, I don't want to say...

You know, you should say somethin'...

'cause he was on the show all these years.


I don't do eulogies. I don't.

Is there a reason for that? Or you just don't care for people?

I'm at an age where if I started to do them...

I'd do nothing but eulogies.

How about just a moment of silence?

Silence on the radio? I don't know how that works.

Garrison, OK, thank you.

OK, we've got about thirty seconds. Thirty seconds.

Hold on a second. You're saying if my mom died... you wouldn't do anything, you wouldn't say anything.

If I what?

You'd just ignore it, you'd act like it never happened?

How could you do that?

We don't look back in radio.

That's the beauty of it.

Nobody gets old. Nobody dies.

We just keep on goin'.

What if you died?

I will.

You don't want people to remember you?

I don't want them to be told to remember me.


You know what? Somebody died down there.

That's right.

OK? And we're not even paying attention... and you're not even gonna say anything?

We pay attention by doin' our job.

Go, go, go. You're on, you're on, you're on.

I gotta get someone to take me home.

I'm not spendin' the night alone tonight.

Don't... nobody even cares.

No, we do. We all care.

We care like hell.

You're gonna want to have... a whole freezer full of Prince of Pizzas.

It's the frozen pizza that tastes homemade always.

Made from real Minnesota cheese and sausage.

♪ One Prince of Pizza slice ♪

♪ Puts me in paradise ♪

♪ Sausage and extra cheese ♪

♪ Onions and anchovies ♪ That's fun... that's funny.

Watching them through this glass, it's like a zoo.

Ahh. I'll be right back.

♪ It's the best ♪

♪ It's the best ♪

♪ In the Midwest ♪

♪ Pizza pie ♪

♪ Pizza pie ♪

♪ Prince of Pizza is the best pie ♪

Yes, Guy Noir here.

Get me Molly.


Molly, listen, I need you to do something for me. It's very important.


I need you come out here so I can talk to you face to face.

Can you do that? I'm right here.

Wha... b... d...

Who's this? I don't know.

No, who... who's talking to me?

I don't... I-I am!

Shh! Hello?



There's nobody there.


I have to ask you to do something for me.

It's very important.

It's, uh... What?

I need a drink.


Oh, je...

You OK?


So how's it goin' in there with, uh, axeman?

Very slippery.

How do they keep the drinks on there?

It's going very well.

I mean, well, he's tough. He's tough.

But, uh, I think, uh, I think I have another solution.


Well, he used to be in a band.

A long time ago called the Dukes of Rhythm... and I think if we can round up the guys who were in that band... and get 'em all on the show...


Um, we can, um, we can maybe get him to change his mind.

Have a kind of reunion, you know, with all the, uh, band members... right here on The Prairie Home Companion.

Here's to happy endings.

Happy endings!



Oh, God, that's good.

Mother's milk.

What? Sorry.

Here's what I need you to do.

Hmm. Take this note... uhh, to the woman... backstage...

Give it to who?

The lady backstage.

The blonde lady with a white trench coat.

Blonde lady with a white trench coat?

Yes. She's beautiful, blonde.

Ahh, ahh...

You can't miss her.

'Angel, man in the...'




'Man in the booth...

Make him go away.'

Give this to her, and then destroy that.

It's time to bring out an old favorite here on A Prairie Home Companion...

And that's two fine women who've been singing together... since they were little girls growing up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

They've kept alive all those old songs that go way back.

Please welcome here the Johnson Girls, Rhonda and Yolanda.

Ha ha ha ha.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

We're gonna do a song now that we wrote for our mama.

Who brought us up... with no, uh, luxuries.

Ha ha. No vacation trips.

No vacations even. Ha ha ha.

But we did have one luxury... and that was... music. You know?

Mama loved us to sing.

Yeah, no matter how tired she was, she loved... hearin' us kids sing.

So this is for you, Mama.

♪ Good-bye to my mama ♪

♪ My uncles and aunts ♪

♪ One after another ♪

♪ They went to lie down ♪

♪ In the green pastures ♪

♪ Beside the still waters ♪

♪ And made no sound ♪

♪ Their arms that had held me ♪

♪ For so many years ♪

♪ Their beautiful voices ♪

♪ No longer I hear ♪

♪ They're in Jesus' arms ♪

♪ And He's talkin' to them ♪

♪ In the rapturous New Jerusalem ♪

♪ And I know they're at peace ♪

♪ In a land of delight ♪

♪ But I miss ♪

♪ My mama ♪

♪ Tonight ♪

Oh, Chuck, they're playin' this for you.

You should be out there performin' this with them.

♪ Who went to lie down ♪

♪ And now is gone ♪

♪ Whose hands are these ♪

♪ All rough and hard? ♪

♪ Nails all torn from toil and care ♪

♪ Who cleaned the house ♪

♪ And kept the yard ♪

♪ Touched my cheek ♪

♪ And stroked my hair? ♪

♪ Thank you, Mama ♪

♪ The Lord give you peace ♪

♪ Bless your voice ♪

♪ And the songs you've sung ♪

♪ Blessed your arms ♪

♪ And your hands and your knees ♪

♪ How you loved us ♪

♪ When we were young ♪

♪ The Lord's my shepherd ♪

♪ I'll not want ♪

♪ I have my mama ♪

♪ My uncles and aunts ♪

♪ Waters so still ♪

♪ And pastures so green ♪

♪ Goodness and mercy ♪

♪ Following me ♪

♪ Goodness and mercy ♪

♪ Following me ♪ OK, OK, you're on. Go get 'em.

The Johnson Girls, thank you.

Brought to you by Powdermilk Biscuits in the big blue box.

Let's bring 'em in right now in off that long, dusty, lonesome trail... the old trail hands themselves, Dusty and Lefty.

Thank you very much.

Lefty and I are very proud of this.

It's a brand new number.

And, uh, we'd like to send it out to our friends there in, uh...

Maple Plain and... and Glenwood and, uh, Renville and of course... our good friends up there on the range.

This is for you.

One... two... three.

Oh, God.

I'm gonna kill those guys.

♪ The blind man's seein' eye dog ♪

♪ Pissed on the blind man's shoe... ♪

# The blinds man said, 'Here, Rover' ♪ Oh, no.

♪ 'Here's a piece of beef for you' ♪

♪ His wife said, 'Don't reward him' ♪ Hey, what are you doin' back there?

♪ You can't just let that pass ♪

♪ The blind man said ♪

♪ 'I gotta find his mouth' ♪

♪ 'So I can kick him in the ass' ♪

# Bad jokes ♪ Oh, great.

# Lord, I love 'em ♪ Now what's the difference?

# Bad jokes ♪ Piss, ass.

# Can't get enough of 'em ♪ Show's on the way out, anyway.

♪ Ooowhee ♪

♪ Bad jokes for me ♪ You got one, Dusty?

I got one, Lefty. Let's hear it.

♪ When God created woman ♪

♪ He gave her not two breasts but three ♪

♪ When the middle one got in the way ♪

♪ God performed surgery ♪

♪ Woman stood before God ♪

♪ With the middle breast in hand ♪

♪ Said, 'What do we do' ♪

♪ 'With the useless boob?' ♪

♪ And God created man ♪

♪ Bad jokes ♪

♪ Lord, I love 'em ♪

# Bad jokes ♪ Oh, great, boobs.

# Can't get enough of 'em ♪ Ha. Why not?

# Ooowhee ♪ Tits, ass, bring it on.

The more the merrier. # Bad jokes for me ♪ What about boobs?

They're singin' a song about boobs and poop... and who knows what? Hey, why not?

Let's just wreck the whole show.

I guess...

Let's... let's have a drink.

Let's get snockered. What do you say?

♪ When a beautiful young naked woman ♪

♪ Stood up in front of the group ♪

♪ She offered Gramps some super sex ♪

♪ And he said, 'I'll take the soup' ♪

♪ Bad jokes ♪

♪ Lord, I love 'em ♪

♪ Bad jokes ♪

♪ Can't get enough of 'em... ♪ Oh, kid. It's over, kid.

They're pullin' the plug.

You ready for another one?

Yeah, lay it on me.

♪ Ole went to the neighborhood dance ♪

♪ And he won the big door prize ♪

♪ It was a toilet brush ♪

♪ And he took it home ♪

♪ And the next week one of the guys ♪

♪ Said, 'Ole, how's that toilet brush?' ♪

♪ 'The one you won from the neighbors?' ♪

♪ Ole said, 'Oh, it works pretty good' ♪

♪ 'But I prefer toilet paper' ♪

♪ Bad jokes ♪

♪ Lord, I love 'em ♪

♪ Bad jokes ♪

♪ Can't get enough of 'em ♪

♪ Ooowhee ♪

♪ Bad jokes for me ♪

♪ The farmer had a champion bull ♪

♪ Who bred 200 times a year ♪

♪ The farmer's wife said, '200 times?' ♪

♪ 'Isn't that wonderful, dear?' ♪

♪ 'Maybe you ought to watch him' ♪

♪ 'Maybe he'll show you how' ♪

♪ The farmer said, 'He's a heck of a bull' ♪

♪ 'But it wasn't all with the same cow' ♪

♪ Come on, now, bad jokes ♪

♪ Lord, I love 'em ♪

♪ Bad jokes ♪

♪ Can't get enough of 'em ♪

♪ Ooowhee ♪

♪ Bad jokes for me ♪ Let's see. I've got... one, four, three...

Did you hear about the Viagra shipment that got stolen?

No, who they think did it?

Well, they don't know... but they're on the lookout for hardened criminals.

Get Garrison out here.

They're wrappin' this up.

You got another one?

I got another one, Lefty.

Sven said to his friend, 'Boy, I think my wife died.'

His friend said, 'Well, what do you mean, you think?'

'Well, the sex is still the same, but the dishes are stackin' up.'

Ha ha ha!

Hey, Dusty.

Yeah, Lefty?

Did you know that diarrhea was hereditary?

No, I didn't.

Yeah, it runs in your jeans.

Ha ha ha ha!

Hey, uh, heh, Lefty?

Yeah? Go ahead.

Why do they call it PMS?

PMS? Why, I don't know. Why?

'Cause Mad Cow was already taken.

All right, that's enough.

Ha ha ha!

Hey, Dusty.

Yeah, Lefty?

What do you get when you cross holy water with castor oil?

I don't know, Lefty. What do you get?

A religious movement.

Ha ha ha ha!

Hey, uh... hey, Lefty, what did the elephant say to the naked man?

What'd he say?

It's cute, but can you really breathe through that thing?

Come on, now.

♪ Bad jokes ♪

♪ Lord, I love 'em ♪

♪ Bad jokes ♪

♪ Can't get enough of 'em ♪

♪ Ooowhee ♪

♪ Bad jokes for me ♪

♪ Bad jokes ♪

♪ Man, I love 'em ♪

♪ Bad jokes ♪

♪ Can't get enough of 'em ♪

♪ Ooowhee ♪

♪ Bad ♪ Whoo!

♪ Jokes for me ♪


Thank you!


We hope you've enjoyed our show tonight.

We certainly have enjoyed having you with us.

Great God in heaven. Holy shit.

We've got six minutes left! How did that happen?

Look, have you got anything for six minutes?

Have you rehearsed anything? Anything? Anything?

Listen to me. Listen to me.

Darlin', remember I said to you, one door closes, another one opens?

You go downstairs.

Get your music and come up and sing.

Now? Lola, go, go, go.

You can do it.

He said, go! Go!

Before he gets done.

That gives shy persons the strength to get up... and do what needs to be done.

So, we'll look forward to seeing you back here at the Fitzgerald Theater... next week at this same time.

Brought to you once again by your friends at Powdermilk Biscuits.

Six minutes. Lola's gonna sing a song.

Your barn doors are open.

But first, we're going to bring a young woman on... to make her debut on our show.

Let's bring out this young and very talented... young woman who knows all those good old songs... to make her very first performance... right here on our radio show.

Please welcome now the beautiful young Miss Lola Johnson.

Lola Johnson.

Ladies and gentlemen.

♪ Frankie and Johnny were sweethearts ♪

♪ But he was doin' her wrong ♪

♪ He was doin' her wrong in a bad way ♪

♪ But she was good and strong ♪

♪ He was her man ♪

♪ But he was a jerk ♪ Is that the way this song goes?

Um, sort of.

♪ He was in a hotel with Nelly Bly ♪

♪ And the gun went rooty-toot-toot ♪

♪ She shot the bastard in the heart ♪

♪ And ruined his nice suit ♪

♪ He was her man ♪

♪ But he was no damn good ♪

♪ So, they took him up to the graveyard ♪

♪ And stuck him in the dirt ♪

♪ Which was oh, so very sad ♪

♪ And the waste of a nice clean shirt ♪

♪ He was her man ♪

♪ But he was doin' her wrong ♪ What's the next line?

I've no idea. I don't know.

♪ He had no idea what happened ♪

♪ He was wavin' hello to God ♪

♪ He died from eatin' squirrels ♪

♪ And they laid him in the sod ♪

♪ He was her man ♪

♪ And he was doin' her wrong ♪ Cool song. Wrap it up.

♪ So that was Frankie and Johnny ♪

♪ And that's the end of my song ♪

♪ She put a hose in his tailpipe ♪

♪ 'Cause he had done her wrong ♪

♪ He was her man ♪

♪ And that's all she wrote ♪ Thank you.

Ha ha ha!

There's a young woman who's going a long way.

We're going, too. We're out of here, And that's our show.

Remember to keep your feet on the ground... your hopes up high... pray for rain, keep the humor dry... and eat those Powdermilk Biscuits.

Thank you, everybody.

♪ Come and sit by my side if you love me ♪

♪ Do not hasten to bid me adieu ♪

♪ But remember the Red River Valley ♪

♪ And the one who has loved you so true ♪ Show's almost over.

In more ways than one.

Nice perfume. Who are you with? The show?

In a way.

I used to listen to this show every week.

Hmm. Well, it was great in its time, but the time's up. Life moves on.

It does.

So, be careful driving tonight.

Need a lift somewhere?

There's a shortcut to the airport.

A steep hill followed by a series of sharp curves and a large oak tree.

What's your name?


Pretty. I like your hair that way.

♪ Come and sit by my side... ♪ When I used to listen to them... it was like they were all my really good friends.

But something else happened, right?



I'm that something else.

♪ But remember the Red River Valley ♪

How long is the ride to the airport?

Twenty minutes.

She said there was a shortcut.

Yes, sir. I know it.

That was the last we saw of him.

The car hit a tree and blew up.

Good-bye, axeman.

But it didn't change a thing.

They sang Sweet By and By... and the audience filed out and everybody packed up and left.

First thing in the morning... a truck from the demolition company pulls up... and two guys started drilling for the explosives.

Just like ya learned in eighth grade English.

♪ So gather ye rosebuds while ye may ♪

♪ Oh, time is still a-flying ♪

♪ This same flower that smiles today ♪

♪ Tomorrow ♪

♪ Will be dying ♪

Come on, pal.

Let me buy you a drink.


Donna, make it three eggs over.

No, listen to her. I was tellin' you.

What were you saying?

We are talkin' about doin' a farewell tour.

Yeah. Oh, who?

Oh, the whole gang from the old radio show.

Yeah. But the show's been over for years.

Yeah, I mean...

So? I always wanted to do a farewell tour.

I loved doin' that last show.

I just want to do one last show and then another one... until I'm in a wheelchair.

I just want to keep doin' them.

You know, as long as I can remember the words.

There's all sorts of towns we haven't played.

I mean, you've got Gooseberry Falls and Lake Winnebigoshish.

Up in Lake Winnebigoshish a lot of people are waitin' to see us.

Well, you... don't count on me.

I got a lot of stuff happening.


Oh, things. Things that are in the works.

Different deals I'm... working out.

I'll be in and out of town a lot.

Yeah, OK. So, what about you? Hey, I'm free.

Oh! Great!

Workin' at the parking ramp. The parkin' ramp?

Yes. It's a good job. I like it.

I read a lot of books.

Make that four eggs.

Oh, boy. You're readin' a lot.

Yeah. That's interesting.

Oh, look at this! Look who's here!

Oh, my God, I miss these guys.

Ha ha ha!

Look who just blew in from the old prairie.

I thought you left town ahead of the sheriff?

Well, the woman decided not to press charges.

Oh, yeah? What was the crime? Snorin'?

Ha ha ha!


We just got back in town... from playin' the casinos in South Dakota.

Yeah? Playin' what? Pinochle?

Ha ha ha!

Playin' our music.

Hey, we hear you might be gettin' a tour up.

Oh, yeah.

We've added some rope tricks to the repertoire.

Flaming lariats.

It's called 'Rings of Fire.'

Well, you know, we got a bus with bunk beds... and we're goin' back to playin' churches and schools.

Look at this.

She's only been workin' six months and she's now the manager.

What does she do?

Um, I have no idea.

Somethin' religious? Software.

Oh, it's big. It's movin' like monkeys.


All right, so, I looked at your pension stuff.

Oh, good.

It's a horror show.

Have you ever heard of mutual funds?

You know, Mom, honestly, you would have done a lot better... if you'd just stuck it in a shoe box and put it under your bed.

Well, that's why I wanted you to help me.

So... here. Sign there.

What is this?

I have to get your assets working again.

My what? Your assets.

Oh. Oh! Power of attorney.

Oh! And you spent $6,000 on a bus?


Why didn't you ask me first?

Well, I'm sorry.


Can I keep the bus or?

We'll talk about it later.

Hey... That sounds like a no.

I love you, too.

Bye, guys.


Bye! Oh, hey. Bye.

So long.

I thought that was a terrific eulogy you gave... for old man Soderberg at his memorial service.

Thank you.

Too bad the old coot couldn't have been there to hear it.

Yeah, and to have missed it by just a few days.

Hmm. Ha ha!

Ha ha!

Ha ha ha!

I still love your laugh.

Oh, yeah.

Hee hee hee! I got it.

I get bored.


Ha ha ha!

Thank you.

That joke just gets better and better.

You know? Yep.

Anybody want to change their order?

Can I get a coffee?

Ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha!

♪ In the sweet ♪

♪ In the sweet ♪

♪ By and by ♪

♪ By and by ♪

♪ We shall meet on that beautiful shore ♪

♪ In the sweet ♪

♪ By and by ♪

♪ We shall meet on that beautiful shore ♪

♪ There's a land that is fairer than day ♪ Come on, Lola.

♪ And by faith we can see it afar ♪

♪ But the Father awaits over there ♪

♪ To prepare us a dwelling place there ♪ Everybody! Come on! Sing it with us now!

♪ In the sweet ♪

♪ In the sweet ♪

♪ By and by ♪

♪ By and by ♪

♪ We shall meet on that beautiful shore ♪

♪ In the sweet ♪

♪ By and by ♪

♪ We shall meet on that beautiful shore ♪

♪ In the sweet ♪

♪ By and by ♪

♪ Ohh ♪

♪ We shall meet on that beautiful shore ♪

♪ Yeah, in the sweet ♪

♪ By and by ♪

♪ We shall meet on that beautiful shore ♪ Take it home!